Gwynn O'Gara


Haven of trees above the Gate,
windy, black-winged, wet,
harbored springs clean as Shasta’s.
And if you wandered the ravines
watercress found you, too.

Between beatniks and empty barracks
Julius Kahn’s monkey bars dazzled.
The little Jewish girl and I dizzied
down the daisy-dotted slopes
and draped our necks with pollen-dusted rope.

Away from ballerinas and housekeepers
the dark cypress grove beckoned.
Beneath black branches, in dens of sand,
at home in the wild and make-believe
we traded seeds and secrets.

Pebble Beach

Two weeks with daddy: daily mass,
the Feed Bag and Fantasia,
Prime Rib and picnics on pebbles.

I left him to his beer and smokes
and waded the wild zone
to the custody of cormorants.

Their arrow-necks jutted west
toward open-ended questions.
I footloosed into the sea-sprung sky.

Back home with mom on Monday,
itching, peeling, freckled, pebbled,
my truest part, still, pelagic.